Friday, July 21, 2006

Fairport Baptists Worship Almighty Dollar

I grew up in the Town of Perinton not far from the Village of Fairport and consider the village to be somewhat of a model for any small town in Upstate NY. Strong neighborhoods, well-kept parks, shopping and dining options, historic features, et cetera. Sure it has its problems, such as the lack of a pharmacy or market, but all in all, Fairport is a great place to live. That's why it is beyond shocking that a developer would have the audacity to propose knocking down a historic house of worship in the heart of this historic village to make way for an anti-historic Walgreens or something similar. What's worse is that those in charge of the church are actually considering it.

David Taber is a trustee of the church. According to the D&C, "he is going to vote to pursue the church's options, including sale. He said he does not want financial help from the government to save the building, even one he loves. "And we don't have a grocery store," said Taber, 71, a lifelong member of the church. "I have friends and neighbors who depend on being able to walk uptown to do their shopping. Some are frustrated by this whole thing."" So let me get this straight, he won't accept government help to save the church that he loves, but he'll accept a developer's blood money to knock it down?

To put it plainly, that don't make a lick of sense. Just because the building needs work is not a good excuse to sell out your faith for two million greenbacks. Furthermore, why should a drugstore at this location fare any better than the previous attempts to run such a store at Village Landing just up the street? In all likelihood, Fairport would end up with two empty boxes instead of one and they will have lost one of their most iconic structures in the process. Hopefully they will take heed to the lesson from the Town of Greece's Barnard neighborhood of which I have written before. Tearing down your history and replacing it with throwaway box-itecture is flat-out dumb.

Thankfully, I have faith that the residents of the Village will not allow this travesty to transpire. Numerous residents in the article pointed out the sheer ludicrosity of this proposal. Their outrage will inspire the Village Board to tell Ron Rothfuss, real estate site selector for the anonymous retail chain, to go to Hell. Ironically, because of this proposal (if the Baptists have any clout with the woman upstairs), he is already well on his way. Let's hope the parishioners of the church aren't going to accompany him.